The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 357
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The Red River Boundary Controversy
Oklahoma appointed receivers to protect Oklahoma citizens'
property in the disputed area." To support the orders of Texas
courts, twenty-eight members of the Texas militia ("all of them
versed well in the gentle arts of six-shooting") were sent to the
Big Bend of Red River region." Armed with high-powered rifles,
tents, and supplies, the Rangers were prepared for a long vigil.
Governor W. P. Hobby stated that he sent the Rangers into the
area "to preserve law and order," although their primary purpose
was undoubtedly to protect Texas property.' Oklahoma officials
believed the Texans were there to take over the property of Okla-
homa citizens, and a federal judge in Oklahoma issued an in-
junction to restrain Texas officials and claimants from interfering
with the property of Oklahoma companies.8 With confusion over
jurisdiction and law enforcement, serious armed conflict between
rival aspirants for the oil and gas lands was imminent.o As condi-
tions remained critical, additional armed men were sent to the
area by the governor of Texas, the Rangers refusing to leave
when a United States marshal ordered them out of the region.1
Under such conditions the controversy was taken into the courts,
and the federal government as intervener joined Oklahoma, the
plaintiff, against Texas, the defendant.
The Supreme Court of the United States hastily ordered a gov-
ernment receiver to supervise the disputed area until final deci-
sions could be made.1 When the receiver took charge in April,
1920, the Texas Rangers were withdrawn and in their places a
dozen armed guards were hired to police the area. Traveling in
pairs as they patroled the land, these guards kept order in the
receivership for over a year. The program to prevent crime proved
successful. When criminal law was invoked occasionally it was
generally in connection with stolen machinery and equipment,
although a few persons were arrested for illegally manufacturing
bDaily Times, August 17, 1919; August 22, 1919; November 9, 1919.
albid., November 9, 1919; January 24, i92o; Daily Oklahoman, January 25, 1920.
7Daily Times, January 29, 1920o.
slbid., January 27, 1920; Daily Oklahoman, March lo, 192o; March 13, 1920o.
SDaily Times, January 28, 192o; Harlow's Weekly (Oklahoma City), December
23, 1922, p. 16.
loDaily Times, March io, 1920; Daily Oklahoman, March 13, 1920.
11Daily Times, April 1, 1920o; April 24, 192o; April 27, 1920; Daily Oklahoman,
April 27, 1920.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/424/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.